Album Review – Unflesh / Inhumation (2021)

A lecture in Blackened and Melodic Death Metal made in the United States, delving into the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or humanity.

4.0rating

unflesh-inhumation-2021Showcasing an incredible amount of new growth from a group already brimming with abundant talent as is, Inhumation, the brand new opus by Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based three-piece Blackened Melodic Death Metal entity Unflesh, is not only the perfect follow-up to their 2018 album Savior, but also a bold statement by the band confirming they’re among us to stay. Mixed and Mastered by V. Santura at Woodshed Studios and featuring a killer artwork by Junki Sakuraba, Inhumation will show you why vocalist and guitarist Ryan Beevers (Solium Fatalis), bassist Orin Hubbard (Excrecor) and drummer Jeff Saltzman (Aversed, Allegaeon, Continuum, Solium Fatalis) have everything it takes to conquer the world of extreme music with their wicked creations. “Inhumation delves into the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or losing one’s humanity so to speak. The title itself is used in a metaphorical sense, as the actual definition of the word ‘Inhumation’ is the action or practice of burying the dead. For album purposes, the title is used on a more spiritual and emotional level. Each track on the album is a bit of a meditation on different aspects of the primary concept. When the listener gets to the last song on the album, the totality of the album will have taken form,” commented Ryan about the band’s newborn spawn.

The acoustic guitars by Ryan ignite the intro Behold Nightfall, gradually growing in intensity until all hell breaks loose in the devastating Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers, where Ryan vociferates the song’s devilish words manically (“Spawned from scales of iron / Demonic icon of fear / Bathing in the draining blood / From the steel / Emotionless / Orchestrating blasphemies / Of hundreds and thousands / Their putrefaction is my crest”) accompanied by the crushing drums by Jeff. To Renounce Flesh and Blood is another demonic and very technical creation by Unflesh blending the fury of Death Metal with the obscurity of Black Metal, not to mention Orin’s bass jabs will make your head tremble, followed by the title-track Inhumation, bringing to your ears over seven minutes of breathtaking riffs and bass punches, intricate beats and all of the elements that make Technical Death Metal so compelling. In addition, Jeff sounds truly bestial behind his drum set, while Ryan keeps roaring like a demonic entity from start to finish.

Unflesh keep decimating our senses in the hellish extravaganza titled Amongst Horrors Must I Dwell, displaying an amazing job done by Ryan with his visceral Black Metal riffage and growling, therefore adding an extra touch of malignancy to the overall result, whereas putting the pedal to the metal the trio brings forward the explosive Blackened Death Metal tune Holocaust of Stars, where Orin and Jeff are on fire with their thunderous kitchen generating a reverberating ambience that will ruthlessly smash your cranial skull; and featuring a sick guitar solo by guest Jim Gregory (Solium Fatalis), The Sepulchral Depths is just as violent and sulfurous as its predecessors, offering us fans an ass-kicking portrait of the band’s trademark hybrid of Blackened and Melodic Death Metal. Not only that, Jeff is once again a stone crusher on drums, taking the lead with his blast beats and fills for our total delight. And last but not least, Unflesh bring forth nine minutes of sonic savagery, acoustic and atmospheric passages, enraged roars and endless obscurity in the form of Dehumanized Legion, where the trio is unstoppable and vile throughout the entire song, putting a beyond demolishing end to this precious gem of Extreme Metal.

unflesh-2021After all is said and done, I’m sure you’re more than eager to put your hands on Inhumation, which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, and in order to do that simply go to the band’s own BandCamp page, to Apple Music or to Amazon, and don’t forget to also show your support to such promising act by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by subscribing to their YouTube channel. Ryan and his henchmen Orin and Jeff did a superb job in Inhumation, beautifully translating into eight multi-layered, dense Blackened and Melodic Death Metal compositions exactly what Ryan mentioned as “the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or losing one’s humanity.” This is exactly how dark and extreme music should always sound, with the band’s new album being a strong contender to feature among the best albums of the year, consequently pointing to a brilliant future ahead of those multi-talented musicians.

Best moments of the album: Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers, Inhumation and Holocaust of Stars.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Behold Nightfall 2:21
2. Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers 5:21
3. To Renounce Flesh and Blood 5:26
4. Inhumation 7:20
5. Amongst Horrors Must I Dwell 6:37
6. Holocaust of Stars 4:42
7. The Sepulchral Depths 5:27
8. Dehumanized Legion 9:01

Band members
Ryan Beevers – vocals, guitars, acoustic guitars, orchestrations
Orin Hubbard – bass
Jeff Saltzman – drums

Guest musician
Jim Gregory – guitar solo on “The Sepulchral Depths”

Album Review – Demon King / The Final Tyranny EP (2021)

This newly formed demonic trio aims to be one of the reigning champs of the Death Metal world with their fulminating and very technical debut EP.

Formed in 2019 in the city of Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States, Blackened Death Metal outfit Demon King is the comeback project of prominent original Enfold Darkness guitarist Matt Brown after stepping away from playing music for a number of years, now joined by technical wizards Malcolm Pugh (Inferi, A Loathing Requiem, Entheos) on bass and Jack Blackburn (Inferi, Enfold Darkness, Vital Remains) on drums. Together, this incredibly talented trio aims to be one of the reigning champs of the Death Metal world in the coming years, starting their path of devastation with their debut EP titled The Final Tyranny. Mixed by Zack Ohren at Castle Ultimate Productions, mastered by Justin Shturtz at Sterling Sound, and displaying an infernal artwork by renowned artist Justin Abraham, The Final Tyranny is strongly recommended for fans of Abigor, Arsis, Dimmu Borgir, Naglfar, Necrophagist and Old Man’s Child, among many others, providing the listener 17 minutes of undisputed dexterity, violence and rage.

We must admit Blackened Death Metal always brings us amazing, poetic lyrics, which is exactly the case in the opening track Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver (“For ages the world did hold the coming of one / Which would usher in the era of din / And the chieftains they called upon disorder as order / Their ally for the clasp within / Multitudes surrender to him as their god”), while Jack sounds like a stone crusher from hell on drums and Malcolm hammers his metallic bass nonstop, resulting in an explosion of sounds that’s as technical and infernal as it can be. Then a sinister intro will darken the skies before the trio comes ripping with their hard-hittingTechnical Death Metal in Invoking the Spirit of Chaos, where Matt not only roars like a demonic entity, but his hellish riffage adds an extra touch of dementia to the music; and it’s time for more lunacy in the form of Technical and Blackened Death Metal in Transmutation of the Artilect, with Malcolm and Jack being absolutely thunderous and menacing with their beats and bass jabs while Matt continues to gnarl and scream rabidly in a perfect fusion of intricacy and heaviness. Lastly, even more obscure than its predecessors, The Watcher, Wreathed In Flame is a ruthless display of modern-day aggressiveness and fury, with the demonic drums by Jack being beautifully supported by the demented strings by both Matt and Malcolm, not to mention how piercing Matt’s guitar solos sound and feel.

This short and sweet display of unrelenting Blackened Death Metal by Demon King is available for purchase by clicking HERE, or from other retailers such as Amazon and Record Store Day. Also, don’t forget to follow those insane metallers on Facebook and on Instagram, and to stream their sick creations on Spotify, showing your utmost support to this newborn force of the extreme music scene. Across its four dense tracks, The Final Tyranny deftly combines and shifts on a dime between Technical Death Metal, Black Metal, and Melodic Death Metal in order to create a sound of their own, also pointing to a very interesting future ahead of the trio and, therefore, inspiring fans of Death Metal from all over the world to keep slamming into the circle pit while Matt, Malcolm and Jack show us exactly what to do when armed with their sharp instruments and their blackened hearts and souls.

Best moments of the album: Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver and Transmutation of the Artilect.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 The Artisan Era Records

Track listing
1. Tyrannical Reign of the Deceiver 3:51
2. Invoking the Spirit of Chaos 4:16
3. Transmutation of the Artilect 4:31
4. The Watcher, Wreathed In Flame 5:04

Band members
Matt Brown – vocals, guitars
Malcolm Pugh – bass
Jack Blackburn – drums

Album Review – Booze Serpent / Slices Of Death (2021)

Turkey’s own Death Metal one-man army is ready to strike his venom once again through his first full-length opus, featuring nine original tracks of sick, alcohol-fueled terror.

Hailing from the dark pits of Antalya, a gateway to Turkey’s southern Mediterranean region, Death Metal one-man army Booze Serpent was formed back in 2019 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Serpent as an ode to 1980’s horror B-movies and H.P. Lovecraft novels, having already released in 2020 the project’s five-track debut EP Drünkard. After less than one year, Serpent returns in full force with his first full-length effort, the sick, alcohol-fueled terror party entitled Slices Of Death, offering us fans a high dosage of old school Death Metal with no shenanigans nor any artificial elements. Mixed and mastered by Polish musician Mikołaj Krzaczek (Thamnos Records), displaying a classic artwork by Death Rattle, and featuring an array of guest musicians such as Cezary Borawski on drums and Burak Ulugüney (of Minus Life) on keys, Slices Of Death was recorded entirely live, with no drum machines nor midi used in the recordings, giving it a more organic, honest and, therefore, violent feel throughout its nine inebriate and visceral tracks of groovy death.

An ominous, atmospheric intro ignites Booze Serpent’s evil brewing machine, morphing into the venomous Dead Fak, where Serpent blends a high dosage of Black, Death and Thrash Metal in his infernal riffs and screams; whereas Turkey’s own one-man horde gets the support of guitarist Gavin Brooks with a sick solo in Man-Eating Plant, while Cezary keeps hammering his drums nonstop, leaning towards contemporary Blackened Death Metal. Then guest drummer Jeremiasz Baum (of The Materia) lends his violence to Booze Serpent in Motel Hell, another short and sweet homage to darkness and drinking where the deep gnarls by Serpent will haunt your soul during your sleep, also presenting the trademark futuristic keys by Burak. And Serpent keeps slashing his guitar and bass in the straight-to-the-point, headbanging tune They Live We Drink!, another heavy and unfriendly creation showcasing the most visceral elements from Black and Death Metal, featuring a guest guitar solo by Gavin Brooks.

Venturing through the realms of Deathslam and Brutal Death Metal, Serpent fires the sick and vile The Beast (Pumpkinhead), blasting sheer rage through his demented riffs and growls, and all spiced up of course by the pounding beats by Cezary. Then uniting the obscurity of Black Metal with the bloodthirsty sounds of Death Metal we’re treated to The Animal, showcasing a bestial guest guitar solo by Croc (of Axxen Conners), resulting in the perfect tune for cracking our necks headbanging to the sound of Serpent’s hellish roars, while guest drummer Charlie Nicholson (of Psychosexual) brings his share of dementia to the short and pulverizing Live Brains!, a tribute to zombie flicks from the 80’s where Serpent sounds even more demonic than before on vocals, not to mention his infernal bass jabs and cutting riffs. The epic and imposing keys by Burak make the final result even more Stygian in Resurrected In Chapman Labs, where the cryptic lyrics barked by Serpent are complemented by his own razor-edged guitars and low-tuned bass, flowing into the atmospheric outro Slices Of Death, where grim piano notes permeate the air in the best Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir-inspired style.

Dedicated to Serpent’s dearest friend Onur Soyulmaz, who sadly passed away in 2018, Slices Of Death is indeed a fantastic display of underground extreme music made in Turkey, bringing to our ears endless amounts of fury, electricity, heaviness and acidity, which obviously translates into awesomeness after all is sad and done. Hence, don’t forget to show your utmost support to such skillful Turkish metaller by following his project on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course by grabbing your sulfurous, alcohol-infused copy of Slices Of Death directly from Booze Serpent’s own BandCamp page, raising your glass high in the sky in the name of horror movies and Death Metal, and getting absolutely drunk to the sound of Serpent’s venomous compositions on a dark and bitterly cold winter night.

Best moments of the album: Man-Eating Plant, The Beast (Pumpkinhead) and Live Brains!

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Plague Demon Records

Track listing
1. Intro/Dead Fak 4:19
2. Man-Eating Plant 3:04
3. Motel Hell 2:58
4. They Live We Drink! 2:50
5. The Beast (Pumpkinhead) 2:16
6. The Animal 3:18
7. Live Brains! 2:14
8. Resurrected In Chapman Labs 3:00
9. Slices Of Death 2:28

Band members
Serpent – vocals, guitar, bass

Guest musicians
Burak Ulugüney – intro, keys
Gavin Brooks – lead guitar on “Man-Eating Plant” and “They Live We Drink!”
Croc – lead guitar on “The Animal”
Cezary Borawski – drums on “Intro/Dead Fak”, “Man-Eating Plant”, “They Live We Drink!”, “The Beast (Pumpkinhead)”, “The Animal” and “Resurrected In Chapman Labs”
Jeremiasz Baum – drums on “Motel Hell”
Charlie Nicholson – drums on “Live Brains!”

Album Review – Hell-Born / Natas Liah (2021)

After 12 years, one of Poland’s most devilish Black and Death Metal hordes returns with a brand new opus that darkly represents everything they have always been and more.

When some bands return from long years of silence, they unfortunately bring disappointment and a tarnishing of their reputation with them, while others bring a glorious shattering of the silence, a fulfilling of hopes and surpassing of expectations in mighty and imperious fashion, which is exactly the case with Sopot, Poland’s own Black/Death Metal veterans Hell-Born. Disciples of their devil’s work can rejoice, as these Polish masters of Black, Death and Thrash Metal have never sounded more accomplished and powerful than in their newborn opus Natas Liah, a towering edifice of darkness and extreme music brought into being by vocalist and bassist Baal Ravenlock (Behemoth’s co-founder), guitarist Les (also a former musician of Behemoth) and drummer Diabolizer over 12 years after the release of their previous effort Darkness. Recorded at Creme de la Creme Studio and mixed and mastered by Haldor Grunberg (known for his collaboration with Behemoth and Blaze Of Perdition) at Satanic Audio, Natas Liah is everything that Hell-Born have always been and more, being therefore highly recommended for fans of the devilish music blasted by Venom, Vader, Behemoth and Sodom, among many others.

A brief spoken intro explodes into a bestial feast of Black and Death Metal in When You Are God, where its solid instrumental pieces are spiced up by Baal’s deep guttural vocals. Put differently, it couldn’t have sounded rawer nor more devilish than what it already is, kicking off the album ruthlessly. Then even more infernal than the opening tune, Axis of Decay brings to our ears classic Black Metal infused with Death Metal elements, with Diabolizer sounding truly menacing with his blast beats accompanied by Les’ evil riffage, resulting in a song perfect for darkening our thoughts and souls for all eternity, followed by Ye Olde Woods Devil, presenting a mid-tempo, headbanging sonority masterfully crafted by the trio where the drums by Diabolizer and the bass punches by Baal will undoubtedly make your head tremble, sounding and feeling very rhythmic and at the same time primeval from start to finish. And featuring a guitar solo by guest Jacek Langowski (from Holy Smoke), Uroboros is another vicious devastation by Hell-Born showcasing Diabolizer’s spot-on drums and the always venomous riffs by Les, living up to the legacy of Polish extreme music.

After such bestial attack, guest Jacek “Jeff” Kubiak (from Damnation) provides a strident guitar solo in The Butcher, offering us all more of their incendiary fusion of Black, Death and Thrash Metal, with Baal sounding even more infuriated than before with his gruesome gnarls. Baal’s rumbling bass and Diabolizer’s pounding drums keep hammering our heads in Son of Earth, with Les bringing a humongous dosage of darkness to the music with his fiery guitar, and there’s no sign of slowing down for those Polish metallers as they keep darkening the skies with their furious music in In God’s Death, where the classic riffs by Les are boosted by the melodic but at the same time violent drumming by Diabolizer. Putting the pedal to the metal, the band explodes our senses with the Stygian and straightforward Soulrape, showcasing their usual dementia and obscurity led by the always demonic growling by Baal, before all hell breaks loose in the infernal closing tune Blakk Metal, featuring guest vocals by Behemoth’s one and only mastermind Adam “Nergal” Darski. Not only the background keys bring an additional touch of evil to the overall result, but Nergal’s trademark roars make it even more thrilling, turning it into what’s by far my favorite of all songs, or in other words, a lesson in modern-day Blackened Death Metal.

As already mentioned, Natas Liah might be Hell-Born’s most demolishing and obscure album in their solid career since the band’s inception in the distant year of 1996, proving some bands definitely know how to make an impactful and meaningful comeback form the pits of the underworld. Hence, don’t forget to follow those veterans from hell on Facebook, and to support them in their quest for extreme music by purchasing their sulfurous new album from their own BandCamp page or from the Odium Records’ webstore as a 6-panel digipack CD with a 16-page booklet or as a deluxe wooden box edition limited to 40 copies containing a vinyl version of the album, the 6-panel digipack CD with a 16-page booklet, a t-shirt, a patch, a button and a sticker. Having said all that, what are you waiting for to grab your copy of such insane album? Go for it, raise your horns and… HAIL SATAN!

Best moments of the album: Axis of Decay, The Butcher and Blakk Metal.

Worst moments of the album: Son of Earth.

Released in 2021 Odium Records

Track listing
1. When You Are God 4:59
2. Axis of Decay 4:50
3. Ye Olde Woods Devil 5:31
4. Uroboros 6:01
5. The Butcher 5:39
6. Son of Earth 4:52
7. In God’s Death 5:31
8. Soulrape 3:05
9. Blakk Metal 4:46

Band members
Baal Ravenlock – vocals, bass
Les – guitars
Diabolizer – drums

Guest musicians
Nergal – vocals on “Blakk Metal”
Jacek Langowski – lead guitars on “Uroboros”
Jeff – lead guitars on “The Butcher”

Album Review – The Machinist / I Am Void (2020)

An ambitious opus that runs a gamut of genres, featuring haunting synths and grinding guitarwork by a ruthless Blackened Industrial Metal outfit hailing from the UK.

“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” – Dylan Thomas

Born earlier this year in the city of Manchester, UK from the ashes of a band named NekroDrako, Blackened/Industrial Death Metal outfit The Machinist has just released their debut full-length album, entitled I Am Void, an ambitious opus that runs a gamut of genres, featuring haunting synths and grinding guitarwork backed up by a psychotic twin vocal approach, being therefore highly recommended for fans of the music by Anaal Nathrakh, The Berzerker and Aboyrm, among others. Summoning all the terror of the eternal, inevitable night, the abyss that waits to swallow us, consuming our dreams, our arrogance and our misplaced certainty of our own importance, I Am Void will explode your senses with a fusion of blasting Black Metal and machine-driven Death Metal, dark visions and confrontational opposition born of absolute self-belief, showcasing all the sonic poison and devastating violence by Scott Walton on vocals, T and Kieran Mackinnon on the guitars, and John Thompson on synths, drum programming and vocals.

Wicked vociferations from the underworld suddenly explode into a demented fusion of Death and Industrial Metal in the opening track Extinction Event, where Scott is a beast on vocals while the synths and drum programming by John live up to the legacy of the genre, and continuing their path of devastation the quartet offers the also metallic and thunderous Skin Is Not Enough, sounding as if Deicide and Ministry had a bastard son, and with the pulverizing guitars by T and Kieran penetrating deep inside our skin mercilessly. Then putting the pedal to the metal they blast the insane The Sky Has Opened, with the infernal screams by Scott being nicely boosted by the crushing riffage and beats by his bandmates, resulting in an amazing option for breaking your neck headbanging nonstop; followed by Approach, a Rammstein-inspired interlude that sounds like taken from a horror flick, warming up the listener for the hard-hitting extravaganza Bleak Affirmations, where T and Kieran deliver a hybrid of Black and Death Metal through their fierce riffage while the atmospheric synths by John add a touch of dementia to the overall result.

Bringing forward elements from Technical Death Metal, Depopulate is as venomous as it can be, with both T and Kieran firing infernal sounds form their guitars while Scott roars and gnarls in a beyond devilish manner, whereas Death Cults Of Abraham offers the listener another round of their industrialized madness, this time with John’s programmed drums sounding as organic as a real drummer. Put differently, this is a phantasmagorical creation by The Machinist feeling doomed and grim from start to finish, while strident riffs and anguished growls are the main ingredients in the hammering onslaught titled Magnificent Desolation, perhaps the song with the strongest Industrial Metal roots, also presenting tons of progressiveness, rage, and endless breaks and variations throughout its unrelenting six minutes. After such insane metal attack, we’re treated to Departure, another utterly Stygian and futuristic Fear Factory-infused bridge that sets the stage for the band’s boldest and most detailed spawn entitled Schwarzschild Radius, starting as wicked as its predecessor while also offering our avid ears dark and metallic sounds, deep, beastly vocals and Doom Metal beats, feeling like a hybrid of Industrial Metal and Blackened Doom at times (not to mention John’s vampiric keys), flowing infernally until its gruesome and otherworldly finale.

If you think you have what it takes to face over 52 minutes of ruthless and vicious Blackened Industrial Metal brought forth by The Machinist in their debut album, you can stream such disturbing opus in its entirety on Spotify and purchase it from the band’s own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon, and The Machinist are also waiting for you on Facebook and on Instagram to show you more of their amazing music, their plans for the future, tour dates and everything else surrounding such distinguished UK horde. As aforementioned, I Am Void is indeed a devastating barrage of sonic violence, as The Machinist are a poison that will elevate or destroy, which means you should simply hit play on their new album, immerse yourself in their harsh truths, and finally find the strength to evolve.

Best moments of the album: Extinction Event, The Sky Has Opened and Magnificent Desolation.

Worst moments of the album: Bleak Affirmations.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Extinction Event 6:39
2. Skin Is Not Enough 5:27
3. The Sky Has Opened 4:57
4. Approach 2:32
5. Bleak Affirmations 4:15
6. Depopulate 3:49
7. Death Cults Of Abraham 5:48
8. Magnificent Desolation 6:13
9. Departure 2:17
10. Schwarzschild Radius 10:34

Band members
Scott Walton – vocals
T – guitar
Kieran Mackinnon – guitar
John Thompson – synths, drum programming, vocals

Album Review – Walls of Hate / Wall of Hate EP (2020)

A one-man army from Honduras is ready to share his personal ideas and music influences with the world armed with his fulminating debut EP.

Founded earlier this year by sole member Rizalde Antonio Peralta (Dragon Eyes, Crathos) in San Pedro Sula, a city in the Sula Valley of northern Honduras, aiming at sharing his personal ideas and music influences with the world, Blackened Death Metal one-man army Walls of Hate began his infernal musical path in June with the release of his self-titled debut EP, offering fans of extreme music four original tracks that reek of darkness and devastation. Recorded at Alien Media Prods and mixed and mastered by Juan Ayestas (Acrocosm, Corpse Forest), who’s also featured on the album as a guest vocalist and lyricist, Walls of Hate is a very honest, organic and straight-to-the-point EP, being highly recommended for fans of the music by devilish giants the likes of Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir and Necronomicon, among several others.

In the opening track Involution we already face austere lyrics that couldn’t have been more in line with our harsh reality these days (“World leaders spreading disease across the skies / Hunt for those who reveal the secrets / Governments of the world like to annihilate / They enjoy our painful and slow deaths”), while musically speaking it’s a raw, dirty and no shenanigans display of classic Black and Death Metal by Antonio. Then in the fantastic Xerxes, imposing background sounds enhance the song’s malignancy considerably, with Antonio kicking ass with both his incendiary riffage and crushing beats while Juan barks and roars like a true demonic entity, resulting in top-notch Blackened Death Metal made in Honduras that will please all fans of the genre. And somber elements grow in intensity and are joined by Antonio’s razor-edged guitars in the phantasmagorical Bestiary, with Juan growling deeply and manically in a hybrid of old school Black and Death Metal where the infernal drums by Antonio dictate the song’s pulverizing pace, whereas more of his demented extreme music flows into our damned minds in the mid-tempo Death Metal feast Legions of Truth, showcasing a great work done by Antonio with both his scorching riffs and low-tuned bass.

In summary, despite being short in duration with a little less than 19 minutes of music in total, Walls of Hate is a kick-ass, venomous spawn of extreme music brought forth by a young and talented Honduran musician who loves Black and Death Metal from the bottom of his Stygian heart, and you can show your support to such skillful metaller by listening to the EP in full on YouTube and on Spotify, by following him on Facebook and on Instagram, and obviously by purchasing his debut EP from his own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon. And by doing so we can all rest assured the walls of hate and Blackened Death Metal carefully raised by Antonio will remain strong and imposing for many years to come, proudly displaying the waving flag of Honduran metal high in the sky for all of us metalheads to admire.

Best moments of the album: Xerxes.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Involution 3:54
2. Xerxes 5:25
3. Bestiary 5:00
4. Legions of Truth 4:27

Band members
Rizalde Antonio Peralta – vocals, all instruments

Guest musician
Juan Ayestas – vocals on “Involution”, “Xerxes” and “Bestiary”

Album Review – Vampiric / Supernatural Tales (2020)

Phoenix, Arizona’s own lone wolf returns with more of his blood-soaked Symphonic Black and Thrash Metal in a tribute to darkness and the supernatural.

Arising from the depths of his lair less than one year after the release of his debut full-length album The Magic of the Night, the Phoenix, Arizona-based one-man army Nik Williams, the mastermind behind Symphonic Black/Thrash Metal entity Vampiric, is back with more of his blood-soaked, dark and captivating music in his brand new opus entitled Supernatural Tales, bringing to our ears more of his fusion of extreme and symphonic sounds while singing about vampires, wolves and other creatures of the night. Not only that, Nik once again did everything by himself, including all music, lyrics, artwork and so on, proving how passionate he is about heavy music and vampirism, and how his undeniable talent allows him to unite those two distinct topics into a collection of dynamic and obscure compositions.

Phantasmagorical synths and a stench of blood permeate the air in the opening track Endless Night, where Nik generates a bold atmosphere with all instruments, also firing both harsh growls and cryptic clean vocals and uniting Black and Thrash Metal in the name of darkness. In Bloodthirst we’re treated to sheer brutality, with Nik barking the song’s vampiric lyrics manically (“Do you hear it? / Does it not sound like the shadows calling your name? / At midnight’s strike, piercing the dark / Calling to you as if in dream / His presence made known / His shadow crawls across the wall”) while the music brings a fusion of Second-Wave Black Metal with classic Bay Area Thrash, all spiced up by its background keys; and blasting a more straightforward and rockin’ sonority, Nik offers us all the dark and dancing tune The Wolves Of Winter, showcasing slashing riffs and massive beats and bass punches, being tailored for admirers of Gothic Rock and Metal from the 80’s and 90’s with a more venomous twist. Then Nik continues to blast his drums and extract sheer malignancy from his guitar, resulting in a hybrid of Blackened Death Metal and Symphonic Black Metal entitled Heart Of Fire, where our lone wolf sings about how fear sometimes controls our lives (“Rise from the fire whose flames burn you not / Become the fire / It matters not the fear that lives inside of your heart / But how you go forth and face that fear / Times of turmoil beget times of peace”).

Melodic guitars ignite the also frantic and obscure The Embrace Of The Vampire, with Nik growling and gnarling while at the same time generating a truly wicked ambience with his Phantom of the Opera-inspired keys, also presenting some elements found in the music by the almighty Cradle Of Filth, whereas an exciting ride through the lands of Rock N’ Roll, Black Metal and symphonic music is condensed into the multi-layered The Darkness Reborn, where Nik does a superb job with all instruments, in special with his demonic riffage and vicious roars. A Descent Into Madness is a visceral, in-your-face Extreme Metal tune where the bass sounds are absolutely metallic and thunderous, making a solid paradox with all the ethereal keys in the background, while Fall From The Sky leans towards the rawer musicality from his 2019 album, also bringing forward a spot-on balance between aggressiveness and melody while the drums sound as Black Metal as they can be. It’s a bit lengthy, though, despite all of its breaks and variations, but nothing to worry about, before the cinematic outro The Dawn Is No More puts a melancholic and at the same time epic conclusion to this bloodthirsty album.

Not only Supernatural Tales represents a healthy and interesting step forward in the career of Nik Williams and his Vampiric, but it’s also a solid statement that Nik is an unstoppable force of the underground, always working on new material and always eager to release original music to fans of that more extreme side of metal, having released so far two excellent albums in less than one year, and I’m not even counting his debut EP Death Tore Through, also released in 2019. Hence, you can show your support to such up-and-coming, hardworking artist by following him on Facebook, by subscribing to his official YouTube channel, and obviously by purchasing Supernatural Tales sooner than you can expect from his own BandCamp page (where you can by the way take a listen at a couple of his new songs already, as well as his previous releases). In a nutshell, in praising darkness and the supernatural with his new album, Nik is also carving his name in the metal underworld, leaving us eager for more of his vampiric tales and extreme sounds until the end of days.

Best moments of the album: Bloodthirst, The Wolves Of Winter and The Darkness Reborn.

Worst moments of the album: Fall From The Sky.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Endless Night 5:28
2. Bloodthirst 2:50
3. The Wolves Of Winter 5:40
4. Heart Of Fire 4:51
5. The Embrace Of The Vampire 5:31
6. The Darkness Reborn 3:36
7. A Descent Into Madness 3:20
8. Fall From The Sky 6:22
9. The Dawn Is No More (Outro) 2:31

Band members
Nik Williams – vocals, all instruments

Album Review – Kult Mogił / Torn Away the Remains of Dasein (2020)

An unrelenting Polish entity returns with their sophomore full-length opus, presenting a new sound directed towards classic Death Metal from the 90’s.

Almost three years after the release of the EP Portentaque, Tarnów, Lesser Poland-based Blackened Death Metal entity Kult Mogił is back from the pits of the underworld with a brand new full-length album entitled Torn Away the Remains of Dasein, presenting to the listener a new line-up and, more important than that, a new energy and sound directed towards a more classic Death Metal style from the 90’s when compared to their debut full-length opus Anxiety Never Descending. Mixed and mastered at Satanic Audio by Haldor Grunberg and featuring a stylish cover artwork by Polish artist Sars (Gruzja, Odraza), Torn Away the Remains of Dasein reeks of pure violence from start to finish, showcasing all the talent and passion for extreme music by lead singer and bassist Deimos, guitarists Rzulty and Thisworld Outof, and drummer The Rays. “Instead of following trends of fashionable playing, we’re heading in the opposite direction, going back to the roots of death metal even more than before. This is our most essential recording, devoid of layers of sludge and other popular additions from previous releases. We want the new songs, stripped of these ornaments, to defend themselves with strong, load-bearing riffs. This album is 100% devoid of the desire to be avant-garde or experimental. We are destroying the previously developed formula so that we can on its ruins pay homage to the classics of the genre,” commented the band about their vicious new album.

And the opening track Hunger of Pride is the perfect depiction of this new version of Kult Mogił, sounding and feeling absolutely ominous, disruptive and violent from the very first second, with Rzulty and Thisworld Outof showing no mercy for our souls with their infernal riffage while Deimos roars and growls rabidly, resulting in a putrid Death Metal feast infused with Black Metal nuances. Then wicked sounds ignite another awesome display of brutality titled White.Death.Implosion, where The Rays sounds vile and demented on drums by blasting sheer havoc through his beats, therefore providing his bandmates all they need to shine with their venomous growls and sick riffs and solos, and not giving us a single second to breathe, the quartet fires the also hellish Blackened Death Metal tune Torment of Dasein, bringing to our ears pure savagery flowing from all instruments, with Deimos doing a fantastic job with both his guttural vocals and his menacing bass punches. In Idols in Blood we’re treated to an austere onrush of Black and Death Metal sounds spearheaded by the rhythmic and groovy beats by The Rays, while Rzulty and Thisworld Outof don’t stop extracting razor-edged riffs from their axes, reminding me of the total darkness of the early days of their countrymen Behemoth, whereas in A Wax Reverie the band adds hints of Doom Metal to their already otherworldly sonority, smashing our skulls once again and blending the gore of bands like Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under with their own share of dementia. And lastly, the rumbling bass by Deimos ignites the closing tune Fountain of Affliction, where the band’s guitar duo fires an endless amount of sulfur and rage from their stringed weapons while The Rays sounds like a bulldozer on drums, ending the album on an utterly obscure and aggressive note.

In case you’re not familiar with the music by Kult Mogił, I highly recommended you go take a good listen at their previous releases before listening to Torn Away the Remains of Dasein in full on YouTube to have a clear understanding of the musical evolution explained by the band until reaching their current shape and form, showing that the adjustments they made to their sound were more than welcome and spot-on, therefore pointing to a bright future to such obscure unity hailing from Poland. In addition, don’t forget to give the guys from Kult Mogił a shout on Facebook, and to grab your copy of Torn Away the Remains of Dasein from the Pagan Records’ BandCamp page or from their webstore in CD, black LP or red LP formats. After such pulverizing album, I wonder if Kult Mogił will continue to venture through even more classic Death Metal lands, if they’ll succumb to the darker side of Black and Doom Metal, or if they’ll simply merge all of their influences and all those styles into something new and fresh. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter what the final result is, as long as they keep bringing forth amazing records like Torn Away the Remains of Dasein we can rest assured the underground Polish scene will remain alive, vibrant and as brutal as it can be.

Best moments of the album: White.Death.Implosion and Idols in Blood.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Pagan Records

Track listing
1. Hunger of Pride 5:43
2. White.Death.Implosion 4:57
3. Torment of Dasein 6:33
4. Idols in Blood 4:38
5. A Wax Reverie 6:24
6. Fountain of Affliction 5:37

Band members
Deimos – vocals, bass
Rzulty – guitars
Thisworld Outof – guitars
The Rays – drums

Album Review – Mazikeen / The Solace of Death (2020)

A beastly album of Symphonic Death and Black Metal from Australia that proves death can be comforting when enfolded by first-class extreme music.

What started in 2013 in Melbourne, Australia as a solo project by guitarist Andrew Shiells with the help from Chris Meyer (from Australian Black Metal act Aberration Nexus), who recorded some drums and synths for the project’s first demo tracks, has evolved to a much bolder and multi-layered beast in recent years, blasting a crushing hybrid of Symphonic Death and Black Metal with other extreme styles such as Melodic Death Metal and old school Black Metal. I’m talking about Mazikeen (based on the Hebrew word “mazzikim”, meaning “harmful spirits”), an infernal horde comprised of the aforementioned Andrew Shiells and his henchmen James Edmeades (Claret Ash) on vocals, Kris Marchant on the guitars, Aretstikapha (Plasmodium, Klavierkrieger) on piano and synths, and Marco Pitrruzzella (Six Feet Under, Sleep Terror) on drums, who are unleashing upon us their first full-length opus titled The Solace of Death, featuring eight original songs and four insane cover tracks throughout impressive 67 minutes of music, all embraced by the stylish and sinister artwork by Australian artist Jamie Ludbrooke.

An eerie, phantasmagorical intro evolves into a feast of symphonic and dark sounds in the opening track The Solace Of Death, where Marco is absolutely infernal with his blast beats while James delivers his Dani Filth/Shagrath-inspired roars and gnarls, supported by the imposing synths by Andrew and Aretstikapha, whereas in Apostate it’s time for ten minutes of Symphonic Black Metal infused with Doom and Melodic Death Metal nuances where the guitars by Kris and Andrew sound sharp and very harmonious just the way we like it in extreme music. Brutal and enthralling form start to finish, this great composition lives up to the legacy of bands like Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and Carpathian Forest, which can also be said about Vexation Through The Golden Sun, even more obscure, violent and epic than its predecessors, spearheaded by the insane drums by Marco while his bandmates make sure every empty space in the air is filled with darkness and evil, resulting in a lecture in modern-day Symphonic Black Metal full of breaks and variations, Stygian passages and even some serene, acoustic moments for our total delight. And featuring guest vocals by Josh Young (Astral Winter, Atra Vetosus), Mazikeen go full Scandinavian Black Metal in Fractricide, inspired by the trailblazers of the genre such as Mayhem and Emperor, blasting a demolishing sonority that will make your head tremble nonstop.

Josh returns with his wicked gnarls in the melancholic and somber Psychotic Reign, starting in a Gothic Metal-ish vibe while also presenting elements from Atmospheric Black Metal in its core essence. Moreover, I personally love the paradox created between Marco’s stone crushing beats and all background keys and symphonic elements, giving the whole song and extra touch of eccentricity, flowing into the cryptic and atmospheric instrumental bridge Harrowing Cessation, which also develops into a romantic instrumental ballad entitled MORS VINCIT OMNIA, or “death conquers all” from Latin, where the strength and depth of the piano notes take the lead and guide the music until its inevitable and grim ending. And in the last original song from the album, Cerulean Last Night, Mazikeen get back to a more ferocious and visceral mode, uniting the most piercing elements from old school Black Metal and contemporary Symphonic Black Metal spiced up by the visceral guest vocals by Ian McLean (The Maledict).

The last batch of songs in The Solace of Death is the band’s own tribute to their biggest idols and influences, starting with Mayhem’s Freezing Moon, originally released in the 1994 cult album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (check the original version HERE), with Mazikeen’s version featuring the vicious vocals by guest Ashahalasin (Inhuman Remnants, Somnium Nox) infernally complemented by the pulverizing drums by Marco, followed by Disection’s Night’s Blood, from the 1995 album Storm of the Light’s Bane, as bestial as the original song with Kris and Andrew delivering sheer electricity and rage through their scorching riffs. Then we have a cover for Dimmu Borgir’s Mourning Palace, from the 1997 album Enthrone Darkness Triumphant (you can listen to the original one HERE), where James does a fantastic job on vocals accompanied by the whimsical keys and synths by Andrew and Aretstikapha. And finally, Ashahalasin returns for their cover song for Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger, from the 1994 album Transilvanian Hunger, as raw and malevolent as the original tune, with Marco once again taking the lead firing endless dementia and wrath from his blast beats.

You can enjoy this precious gem of Australian Black Metal in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and also grab your copy of the album from the Satanath Records’ BandCamp page, from the Iron, Blood & Death Corporation’s BandCamp page, from Apple Music, or click HERE for all options where you can buy or stream the album. Mazikeen can also be found on Facebook, where you can know more about the band, their tour dates, their music and plans for the future, proudly carrying the flag of Black Metal wherever they go. In a nutshell, Andrew and his horde from Mazikeen nailed it in The Solace of Death, showing us all that death can be indeed comforting, especially if enfolded by a good amount of first-class Black Metal like the sonic devastation blasted by such distinct band hailing from the always inspiring Australia.

Best moments of the album: Vexation Through The Golden Sun, Fractricide and Night’s Blood.

Worst moments of the album: Harrowing Cessation.

Released in 2020 Satanath Records/Iron, Blood & Death Corporation

Track listing
1. The Solace Of Death 6:57
2. Apostate 10:05
3. Vexation Through The Golden Sun 10:46
4. Fractricide 4:54
5. Psychotic Reign 7:00
6. Harrowing Cessation 2:30
7. MORS VINCIT OMNIA 2:59
8. Cerulean Last Night 7:34
9. Freezing Moon (Mayhem cover) 6:36
10. Night’s Blood (Dissection cover) 7:10
11. Mourning Palace (Dimmu Borgir cover) 5:36
12. Transilvanian Hunger (Darkthrone cover) 5:36

Band members
James Edmeades – vocals
Kris Marchant – guitars
Andrew Shiells – guitars, synths
Aretstikapha – piano, synths
Marco Pitrruzzella – drums

Guest musicians
Josh Young – vocals on “Fractricide” and “Psychotic Reign”
Ian McLean – vocals on “Cerulean Last Night”
Ashahalasin – vocals on “Freezing Moon” and “Transilvanian Hunger”

Album Review – Odraza / Rzeczom (2020)

A unique and caustic album of Black Metal made in Poland about myths, projections, appearances, fears we fight, and the legacy we cannot deny.

Formed in the year of 2009 in the obscure basements and gray courtyards of the charming city of Kraków, in Lesser Poland by vocalist, guitarist and bassist Stawrogin (Gruzja, Massemord and Totenmesse) and guitarist, bassist and drummer Priest (Massemord, Totenmesse and Voidhanger), the Stygian Black Metal duo known as Odraza, or “disgust” from Polish, returns from the pits of the underworld with their sophomore studio album Rzeczom (“things”), the follow up to their 2014 debut opus Esperalem Tkane. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Impressive-Art Studio in Beskidu Małego, Poland, and portraying the stunning Polish model Dorota Maria Kuźmicka as its cover art, Rzeczom will take you on a dark and captivating journey through the wicked world of Odraza. “We dedicate Rzeczom to ourselves, the authors. It is a diary; excerpts from our lives and the lives of the people once close to us come across the words by the authors that inspire us. It is about myths, about projections, appearances, fears we fight, and the legacy we cannot deny. It is also about the lie – after all, it is but us who decide how many of those memories reflect what has never been,” darkly commented the duo about their new and weird creation.

In the opening tune titled Schadenfreude (“malicious joy” or “spitefulness” from German), an eerie, cryptic intro quickly explodes into modern and visceral Black Metal led by the duo’s scorching riffs, with Priest blasting savagery and intricacy through his beats nonstop. The album couldn’t have started in a better (and more venomous) way, I might say, with the duo’s rumbling bass igniting the title-track Rzeczom, sounding as if Triptykon went full Blackened Doom. Moreover, Stawrogin growls and barks like a true demonic beast throughout the entire song, spiced up by somber passages and vicious backing vocals, resulting in a song definitely not recommended for the lighthearted. Then back to a more ferocious and berserk mode those Polish metallers fire the Behemoth-inspired W Godzinie Wilka (“at the hour of the wolf”), bringing to our ears Blackened Death Metal at its finest with Stawrogin’s harsh gnarls being effectively supported by Priest’s pounding drums; whereas a serene, acoustic intro permeates the air in …Twoją Rzecz Też (“…your thing too”), evolving into a metallic and alternative, almost circus-like onrush of sounds showcasing the band’s versatility and their will to never sound outdated or repetitive.

Once again sounding wicked and vile form start to finish, the duo surprises us with another round of unusual extreme music in Długa 24 (“long 24”), where Stawrogin does a very entertaining job with both his darker vocals and his clean vociferations, followed by Świt Opowiadaczy (“dawn of the storytellers”), offering the listener six minutes of obscure passages and endless violence flowing from their damned instruments, with Priest stealing the spotlight with his frantic and intricate drumming. And venturing through the realms of Doom and Stoner Metal to give their core Black Metal an even more badass vibe, they offer us all Młot Na Małe Miasta (“a hammer for small towns”), with both Stawrogin and Priest extracting electricity from their stringed weapons and, therefore, keeping the album at a high level of obscurity and madness.

After such demented tune, we’re treated to Najkrótsza Z Wieczności (“the shortest of eternities”), a contemplative and melancholic display of extreme music made in Poland where Stawrogin devilishly declaims the song’s Polish words, being multi-layered and grim just the way we like it in Extreme Metal. Following this cryptic composition, a phantasmagorical storm is about to begin in Bempo, growing in intensity until morphing into ass-kicking Blackened Death Metal led by Priest’s always fulminating drums, also showcasing a razor-edged guitar solo by guest musician Azar. And last but not least, it’s time for Odraza to stun us once and for all with eight minutes of absolute darkness in the instrumental aria Ja Nie Stąd (“I’m not from here”), starting in a progressive and atmospheric manner and flowing beautifully to the riffage and beats by the band’s dynamic duo until its inevitable and ethereal end.

This precious gem of contemporary Black Metal made in Poland can be better appreciated in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course you should definitely buy a copy of the album from Odraza’s own BandCamp page, as well as from the Godz Ov War Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore and from Discogs, showing your true support to the talented Stawrogin and Priest and to the entire underground scene. Also, don’t forget to follow Odraza on Facebook and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for news, tour dates and more of their distinguished music. It doesn’t matter if you are a native Polish metalhead or if you don’t understand a single word said by the band in Rzeczom, this is the type of album that’s a must-have in your collection of dark and acid extreme music, and just like Odraza dedicated the album to themselves, you can go ahead a dedicate it to your own Black Metal persona in your most introspective moments in life.

Best moments of the album: Schadenfreude, W Godzinie Wilka and Młot Na Małe Miasta.

Worst moments of the album: Długa 24.

Released in 2020 Godz Ov War Productions

Track listing
1. Schadenfreude 4:18
2. Rzeczom 5:21
3. W Godzinie Wilka 4:50
4. …Twoją Rzecz Też 5:43
5. Długa 24 2:06
6. Świt Opowiadaczy 6:01
7. Młot Na Małe Miasta 5:41
8. Najkrótsza Z Wieczności 5:06
9. Bempo 6:29
10. Ja Nie Stąd 8:01

Band members
Stawrogin – vocals, guitars, bass
Priest – guitars, bass, drums

Guest musician
Azar – guitar solo on “Najkrótsza Z Wieczności” and “Bempo”